Labor and Elections
Francis Fox Piven is right – and Jay Arena is wrong when he suggests that labor run candidates against the Democrats (Letters, February Clarion). Unless, of course, he means running in the Democratic primaries as members of the Democratic Party.
Look at history. Billionaire David Koch ran as a Libertarian – a waste of time and money. But since he founded, financed, and directed his tremendously successful Tea Party as a wing of the Republican Party, he has been able to bash unions and other mainstream causes, effectively persuading middle-class people to make war upon the middle class – a familiar enough phenomenon. As the Russian proverb says, “The ax handle, too, is made out of wood.”
As a separate party, Koch’s Tea Party would have been useless, but as an arm of one of the two major parties, it has become extraordinarily influential.
Rather than sap the Democratic Party by running candidates against it, we should perhaps challenge Democrats in primaries, and then support Democratic candidates with our money and our votes, encouraging them to speak out on issues that matter to us.
K. J. Walters